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Gender Equality, Reproductive Health Essential For Sustainable Development, Asian-Pacific Conference Participants Agree

“Gender equality and reproductive health are indispensable to sustainable development, and must be a key part of the post-2015 development agenda, participants said at” the Sixth Asian and Pacific Population Conference (APPC) in Bangkok, supported by the U.N. United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in cooperation with the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), the U.N. News Centre reports. “After days of intense discussions, nearly 500 delegates, including ministers and senior officials from 47 countries, adopted a comprehensive Asian and Pacific Ministerial Declaration on Population and Development,” the news service writes. “‘Addressing one of the most important parts of our unfinished business, it affirms the importance of non-discrimination, of ending violence against women and girls, and of universal sexual and reproductive health, services, and rights,’ U.N. Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of ESCAP Noeleen Heyzer said at the closing of the week-long conference on Friday,” according to the news service. “The document will be the region’s input to next year’s U.N. General Assembly review of the 20-year action plan on sexual and reproductive health rights, which was agreed on in 1994 in Cairo at the U.N. International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD),” the U.N. News Centre notes (9/22).